Bids for school district property close Wednesday

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At a glance

The Moffat County School District is offering two tracts of land for sale. Bids are scheduled to close at 5 p.m. Wednesday. Here's a look at the two properties:

Tract 1

• Measures 8.5 acres

• Located north of 13th Street

• Estimated value: Between $80,000 and $165,000

Tract 2

• Measures 34,375 square feet, or 11 city lots,

• Near intersection of Seventh and Breeze streets.

• Not to be confused with nearby Breeze Street Park

• Estimated value: between $175,000 and $190,000

The Moffat County School District is looking to sell of two tracts of land it owns with the hopes of putting more money away into its capital reserve fund.

But, while the sale of the two properties could put money back on the tax rolls and generate funds for various school district projects, one local business owner isn't looking forward to seeing the land sold.

The first piece of real estate measures 8.5 acres and is located north of 13th Street.

An independent market analysis conducted by two local real estate agencies this spring concluded the property is valued between $80,000 and $165,000.

There's a wide margin between the two figures because the tract isn't divided into city lots, making its value is harder to pin down, district finance director Mark Rydberg said.

The second piece of land has an estimated value between $175,000 and $190,000. It measures 34,375 square feet, or 11 city lots, and is located near the intersection of Seventh and Breeze streets.

Rydberg said community members frequently have confused this tract with Breeze Street Park, located nearby. However, the park will not be included in the sale.

Instead, the land in question currently acts as a storage lot for Tunies & Such Nursery and Landscaping.

Tunies & Such owner Bob Meckley rents the land from the school district in exchange for providing about $900 worth of trees to the district annually.

If the school district sells the land, however, Meckley will have to find a new place to store his excess tress and landscaping materials.

That may not be an easy task.

Meckley estimated he currently has about $60,000 worth of trees, shrubs, cobblestone, topsoil and other landscaping materials on the lot. If the land sells, he will have 30 days to move those materials to another location.

Meckley said he has made inquiries, but so far he hasn't found a similar-sized lot to move to.

Moving to another location likely won't be a problem, he said.

But he thinks that losing the lot, which is highly visible and accessible, could leave a dent in his business.

"This is really going to hurt," he said. "A lot of people drive by here and they see the trees and actually, they sell just by being there."

At Meckley's request, Moffat County School Board members decided to hold off selling the land until summer's end.

But at the School Board's Sept. 25 meeting, Rydberg argued that the district has an obligation to sell the property.

"We have something of a duty to put that money back on the tax rolls," he said.

Because government agencies, including the school district, aren't subject to taxation, the land currently isn't generating tax revenue.

Furthermore, the sale of the property would bolster the school district's capital reserve fund, which pays for a wide range of capital projects, from building improvements and parking lot repair to computers and software.

If both properties sell at their highest estimated price, they will generate $355,000 for the district.

The School Board is scheduled to vote on the bids at its monthly meeting Thursday. The district reserves the right to reject any and all bids.

Bidding is scheduled to remain open until 5 p.m. Wednesday.

For a bid packet or more information, visit the Moffat County School District's administrative building, 775 Yampa Ave.

Bridget Manley can be reached at 875-1795 or bmanley@craigdailypress.com

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